amazing claim made as voter i.d. hearing begins in Washington
Lawyers for several groups which are opposing the state's voter i.d bill have raised their estimate of how many otherwise eligible Texas voters would not be able to cast ballots if the law were implemented, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Westfall, representing the Justice Department, told a federal appeals court panel in Washington that 'as many as 1.4 million people' lack the appropriate government issued i.d. needed to vote under the Texas law.
That is up from the 600,000 people that Attorney General Eric Holder said would be 'disenfranchised' if the law is implemented.
Westfall gave no figures to back up her claim that one in 14 Texas adults doesn't have a driver's license or other form of government issued photo i.d. and would be unable to obtain one, despite the fact that the law requires the Department of Public Safety to provide photo i.d. voter cards for free.
Adam Mortara, who is representing the state of Texas, told the appeals court panel that voter i.d. 'is the will of the people' and he said both Democratic and Republican voters in Texas are pushing for some form of security and accountability at the ballot box. Mortara pointed out that several other states have implemented voter i.d. laws and there is no evidence that large numbers of voters have been disenfranchised by them. He pointed out that Indiana's voter i.d. law, which is nearly identical to Texas', has been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Holder threw out the Texas voter i.d. law, exercising his power under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which requires that nine southern states with a history of 'voter suppression' receive pre-clearance for any election law changes from the Justice Department. Indiana's voter i.d. law was implemented because Justice Department pre clearance is not required in Indiana.
Holder will receive a friendly welcome today when he addresses the national convention of the NAACP in Houston. NAACP President Ben Jealous has already compared voter i.d. laws to 'Selma and Montgomery,' a reference to the vicious anti black laws which were approved in southern states in the fifties and early sixties, and which led to violent civil rights confrontations in Alabama.
Ironically, the Justice Department says reporters who want to cover Holder's speech today in which he will decry the discriinatory and racist nature of requiring photo i.d.---have to first show a photo i.d. before they'll be allowed into the auditorium.
JUSTICE DEPARMTENT REQUEST FOR COVERAGE:
UPDATE: ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER TO DELIVER REMARKS TOMORROW TO
NAACP NATIONAL CONVENTION
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver remarks at the NAACP National Convention during the plenary session on TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. EDT/11:30 a.m. CDT.
WHO: Attorney General Eric Holder
WHAT: Remarks at the NAACP National Convention
WHEN: TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012
12:30 p.m. EDT/
11:30 a.m. CDT
WHERE: George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
NOTE: All media must present government-issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license) as well as valid media credentials. Members of the media must RSVP to receive press credentials at email@example.com. For security purposes, media check-in and equipment set up must be completed by 10:15 a.m. CDT for a 10:30 a.m. CDT security sweep. Once the security sweep is completed, additional media equipment will NOT be permitted to enter and swept equipment will NOT be permitted to exit. Press inquiries regarding logistics should be directed to Xxxxx Xxxxxx at XXXXX@XXXX.com or XXX-XXX-XXXX.